Sunday, September 8, 2019

Post #147 - Anotha One

At the end of my last post, I hinted at another "high-end" pickup that I was working on. Truth is, I actually bid on a couple of these cards on eBay when I had the coupon, figuring I'd only win one of them. Turns out, I won two. With only one discount, I used it for the Posey shown last time (it was won first). A few days later, I got a notification letting me know I won this card:

Just my second autograph of my favorite player of all-time, this is one of the nicer cards I've ever added to my collection. If you can't read the serial number, it's 47/99 - not at all the rarest of the rare, but a very nice addition if I do say so myself.

A look at the back if you're into that sort of thing, showing that this indeed comes from 2019 Topps Museum Collection. There's one thing about this card that really perplexes me, however.

Why the Mets? I mean, Green's time at Shea Stadium wasn't exactly memorable (he played 164 games over the course of a season and a half, and while he hit .284, he only clubbed 14 home runs and drove in just 64 runs). Perhaps all of those early 2000s Donruss game-used memorabilia parallels used up the world's supply of Shawn Green Dodger jerseys, I don't know. No complaints, I just find it odd.

Regardless, I'm thrilled to stick this one with the rest of my Shawn Green cards and add another shining jewel to my collection. I have a love/hate relationship with Museum Collection (and other sets on the "higher end" of the budget) but I can't say that I'll turn away from something like this when the opportunity arises!

Everyone enjoy the first Sunday of NFL football of 2019, and as always, thanks for reading!


Monday, August 26, 2019

Post #146 - Crown Jewel

In my Buster Posey player collection, I have some nice cards. Yeah, that might sound a little conceited, but I think we're all proud of our collections. I even detailed my nine favorite Posey cards at the time in a post a little while back.

I've made some additions since then, including a couple of relic cards. But my most recent score arrived in the mailbox today and it is officially my new favorite.

2011 Topps Triple Threads "Relic Combos-Sepia" of Posey, Fisk, and Posada. Numbered to 27 copies, I have #6.

The Triple Threads thing is not a new thing to collectors, and I'm willing to bet that some will say I overpaid. But allow me to explain.

A forum thread on the Trading Card Database mentioned a $2 off coupon for select eBay users, so I decided to check it out. I didn't have the $2 coupon though - I actually had $5 off a purchase of $10 or more. So, when I saw I was able to swoop in and grab this for a BIN of $15.00 ($10.00 after coupon), I hit "purchase" pretty fast.

I don't have cards like this in my collection. Boxes of Triple Threads are way out of my price range. Growing up, with hobby shops few and far between (when they managed to stay open), I didn't have exposure to these products. And this is by far my lowest numbered Posey card yet.

I'm not crazy about the Sepia tone (it seems too lackluster to me on what is otherwise a beautiful card), but I always liked Posada growing up, and Fisk was a catcher I tried to model my own game after on the field. Put those two on a relic card with Posey, and I'm there!

One thing that I noted, however, is the size of the relic area. It seems very, very small, and maybe that's because I've never seen one of these in person before. And I don't really mind - it is what it is, and if I wanted to split this card in half, I bet I would find a three full size swatches.

All I know right now is that I have a new favorite card in my collection. This also brings a worry along with it, however...a self-professed "common card" collector, I think I may have been bitten by the "high-end" bug, as I lost out on an auction last night, and am currently winning one for another triple relic that I hope to show off soon!

Thanks for reading my short, quick, and awfully proud post. Have a great rest of your night!


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Post #145 - Don't Close Your Eyes

This title really has nothing to do with the content of the post tonight. I'm simply listening to a wonderful cover of Keith Whitley's classic "Don't Close Your Eyes", sung by a gentleman by the name of Dylan Scott. While I'm a self-professed "old school" country guy, I love Scott's vocals. Take a listen yourself, if you'd like:

So, if you're not sick of Matt Mantei cards yet, keep reading. While I have many collecting interests, 98% of my baseball card time lately has been dedicated to organizing and inventory. However, I've also pushed headlong into the quest to obtain every Matt Mantei card (including printing plates!) and took advantage of the recent COMC Summer Sale to pick up a few more of the lower-numbered and rarer cards of his at discounted prices.

Well, they weren't all rare. But this 1993 Fleer/ProCards of a young Mantei with the Bellingham Mariners is a nice addition, and my earliest card of him to date.

I also snagged the 1994 edition from the same set. This card is number 1051 in a set of 4319. They don't make 'em like that anymore!

Why this parallel of 1999 Pacific is called "Platinum Blue" is a mystery that I will likely go to the grave without having solved. Regardless, it's the first of three 1999 Pacific cards needed for the collection.

The 2000 Pacific Paramount parallels is really where I did some damage. I knocked out this Holographic Gold numbered to 199...

...the Holographic Green numbered to 99...

...the Holographic Silver, also numbered to 99...

...and the Premiere Date, numbered to 50! Very redundant, I know, but they actually look pretty sharp in pages together. I'm simply missing the Gold and Platinum Blue to have the full rainbow for this one!

I also added the 2000 Upper Deck Exclusives Silver parallel number to 100. Tracking down the Exclusives Gold, however, could prove difficult - it's a 1/1.

I'm also one card short of the 2000 Upper Deck MVP "rainbow", as I'm just missing the Superscript parallel numbered out of 25. But I was thrilled to pick up the Gold Signature version seen here.

In addition, I added the final parallel needed for the 2001 Topps flagship run! I miss when the Topps flagship "Gold" cards were actually, ya know, gold. With a real serial number on the back, not some digitized crap.

Finally, we wrap up with my favorite card of the bunch, an uncirculated XFractor from 2003 Topps Chrome. Numbered out of just 57, I thought for sure I'd have a much harder time finding this sucker, so I couldn't click "Add to Cart" fast enough when I saw it!

So that's how my COMC Summer Sale went! If you've made it this far, I assume that Mr. Mantei, despite having his career be over for over 10 years now, may have made a few new fans. I appreciate you all reading along, despite my on-and-off blogging presence. It's something I still enjoy doing when the opportunity arises, but I wouldn't have the desire if there weren't readers like YOU at least absorbing my content - it's up to to you to decide if you enjoy it!

Have a great evening.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Post #144 - Surprise!

Sometime a week ago or so, I apparently placed a COMC order for myself after payday. I remember doing this. I remember picking out several Matt Mantei cards that I needed, and placing the order.  Then, I promptly forgot about it.

A few days ago, I got an email letting me know my order had shipped, and a light bulb went off! I had cards coming my way! Cards I needed and wanted! Awesome!

Then I forgot. Again.

When I walked in the door the other day, a little later than usual because I finally got to the post office and mailed some packages off, there was a bubble mailer sitting there for me. I had cards! Cards I needed and wanted! Awesome!

And as I opened it, I realized I had no idea what was inside. I vaguely remembered a seriel numbered Mantei. But the rest have been a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. Let's see, shall we?

The last 1996 Matt Mantei card I needed. I now have all three from that year. Yeah, that's a tiny, insignificant milestone, but it does feel good to cross an entire year off of the list!

The '90s were weird, man. You would think a relief pitcher's only cardboard appearance in a year would be buried in the 600s of that year's Upper Deck set. But nope, Matt's sole 1997 card is this Pacific Prism "Gems of the Diamond" insert. Wild. Wacky. Mine.

Thanks to parallels, I've been trying to track down four total 1999 Fleer Tradition cards. I already had the base, and now the Warning Track parallel gets me another step closer. Still need the "Starting 9" and "Millennium" parallels, with the latter only have 5000 copies produced.
I actually have a decent chunk of the 1999 Upper Deck Victory set, so I'm surprised it took me so long to add this one to the hoard.

I already had the Glossy version of the 2000 Fleer Tradition card, and now I have the base. Like it's Glossy counterpart, this one seems to have some serious curling going on, hence the dark left edge of the scan. Hopefully some time in a binder will flatten it out gently.

Pacific Paramount parallels! The Copper (top) and Green (bottom) now give me four total cards from that rainbow, as they fit nicely along with the base and the Ruby.

Still a fan of Chrome. Doubt that will change. Blurry scan though - I don't think the new scanner bed liked this Chrome very much.
Quite possibly my favorite from the entire package - 2001 Keebler Arizona Diamondbacks! I don't know if these were a food item or a stadium giveaway or what; I just know I'm stoked to add this to my collection!
This 2001 Topps Home Team Advantage parallel leaves me just the Gold parallel away from having all five versions of the 2001 Topps cards (base, Employee Edition, Gold, HTA, and Limited).
A 2002 Fleer - Tiffany parallel that's numbered out of 200. I like the back better than the front here...
...because he was an All-Stater at my high school! To a lot of people, something like this isn't a big deal, but see your high school on the back of a baseball card is pretty cool when your town is 1800 strong (heck, I graduated with a class of 40).

The surface wear and scratches on this 2003 Topps Chrome are likely why it was marked down so cheap. I'll probably upgrade this one someday, but for now I'm happy to have it stashed in my binder.

Insert joke here about not being able to afford 2019 Topps Total so I bought 2003 Topps Total instead.
I was able to add the base version of the Upper Deck 40-Man set from that year too. I miss massive sets like these.
As a side note, I always like the Diamondbacks copper/purple/teal/black color scheme the best out of all of them. It just reminds me of being a little kid, and the whole "rattlesnake" concept was really cool to a little guy growing up in Michigan.
2004 Topps Chrome that scanned a little crooked. I actually have quite the run of Topps and Chrome cards from 2004 and I'm hoping to nail down that rainbow soon.
And we wrap up the Mantei portion of the package with the 2004 Upper Deck base card, on which the foil did not scan well.

Now, you'll note that I said the Mantei portion, because I forgot that I threw one other card on my order:

I'm still one Ralf Mojsiejenko card away from completing his run, so I habitually check COMC for 1990 Pro Set FACT cards. While doing so, I stumbled across this buyback from the 2019 Score set, and I couldn't hit "Add to Card" quick enough. I don't seek these out intentionally, but when one falls into your lap like this, I'll take it!

Well that wraps up this first post in a long time. I'll see if I can't get another one up soon (baseball season is winding down, so I should have some downtime). In the meantime, thanks for reading, and have a great evening!


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Post #143 - Hoodwinked or Pleased?

The sporadic posts (can they even be considered sporadic at this point?) continue, as we re-visit an eBay purchase from a few months back.

I think at this point all readers are familiar with my Shawn Green collection. As I continue to try and grow it, I find myself searching for new and unique collectibles on top of my card search. I have several items on my Amazon wishlist that fit the "collectible-but-not-a-trading-card" category.

One of my saved eBay searches is "Shawn Green Printing Plate". I never want to miss an opportunity to bid on one if it were to come up, and until recently one never had.

Then I got the notification.

I'll spare the dramatics and just come right out and say that there was a 2001 Pacific Back Printing Plate available. I let it sit for a period of time, while I did some research, and quite frankly I don't think it's legitimate.

Here, take a look:

Very thin metal. The scan is slightly crooked, the "plate" is not. And there's just too much color for me to comfortably call this legitimate. Throw in the fact that everything I've read online indicates that Pacific never issued 2001 Printing Plates in packs, and I'm quite sure this isn't real.

That being said, I bought it using a bit of reserve cash and a nice coupon, so the price out of pocket is what I would consider fair for a very unique Shawn Green item for my collection. This "plate" will find a niche in the appropriate binder along with other Shawn Green mis-cuts and oddball items.

The seller also threw in two bonus cards as well, something I suspect was done because they knew this plate wasn't legitimate.

These are both from the 2004 Upper Deck National Trading Card Day multi-sport set. The Griffey is a beautiful add to my Reds collection, but the Sosa would be available if anyone wanted to claim it. Otherwise, I'll file it away until I finally get organized and really open up trading - by the end of 2019, if I'm lucky!

Ultimately, authentic plate or not, I'm pleased with the outcome of this purchase, and it's always nice to add a unique piece to my personal collection. If you've stuck around this long, thanks for reading - with a little luck, I'll get caught up on the two packages from Remember the Astrodome I still need to blog about soon...

Until next time, take care!


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Post #142 - BYOB

No, not Bring Your Own Beer - although if you're kicking back on this Thirsty Thursday (or whenever you read this) and taking in a few adult beverages, I tip my cap to you. You probably earned it!

The BYOB here refers to "Build Your Own Blaster", a concept I've seen on the blogs once or twice and something I did (albeit inadvertently at first) last week. As I did last year, I ran a NCAA March Madness tournament challenge on the Trading Card Database, with the winner getting $15 to COMC on me, and second place $10 to COMC, also on me. At the same time, I cashed in myself and racked up 12 cards (11 I needed) for my own collection - shipped for less than the $20 blaster of 2019 Topps Series 1 would have cost me at Wal-Mart.

I still have a package from Remember the Astrodome I need to show off here, but I'm taking quick advantage of the fact that I'm putting away these cards to blog about them at the same time. So without further ado, let's get to it!

Most scans tonight are once again courtesy of the Trading Card Database. I'll show off what makes up the bulk of my order in a moment, but at the end I did a quick filtered search for early Buster Posey cards.

This 2009 TriStar Obak turned up at a reasonable price, so into the cart it went. I'm always happy to add early Buster Posey's to the Hoard, and this one is no exception. The price tag? $1.55

Running total: $1.55

This one also was a late addition for an affordable price:

From 2001 SP Game Used Edition, this "Authentic Fabric" insert set me back a whopping $1.71. I like the stitching being part of this jersey piece as well - it adds a little character to a card and swatch that would otherwise be pretty blah.

Running total: $3.26

The remainder of the order is made up of my COMC specialty: go to Matt Mantei, filter by lowest price first, and pick off as many cards that I need as possible for under $1.00.

Not one that I needed...dammit Jason, this is why we have lists! I wasn't thinking and added this one to my cart when it's one that I already had. Luckily it was a mere $0.99. I'm sure I can find a good home for it with my dad though.

Running total: $4.25

Pretty thrilled to add this 1994-95 Fleer Excel minor league Mantei to the collection. Appleton was in the Midwest League - I don't know for sure, but I think they may have become the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Minus the fact that they used the same picture on the back, I like the reverse enough to show it too. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, this was a $0.69 deal.

Running total: $4.94

This 1999 Topps Chrome Traded and Rookies now joins it's non-Chrome counterpart in the Mantei collection - and only cost me $0.60. This scan I borrowed looks a little cut off at the top, but no worries - mine is in pretty good shape.

Running total: $5.54

Another parallel for which I already had the base card for, this 2000 Upper Deck MVP Silver Script cost $0.78. I'm diggin' the patch on his left sleeve.

Running total: $6.32

Excuse the poor picture on this one. I took it oddly in hopes that you can see it's not an extra copy of the 2001 Topps base card, but rather the Employee Edition parallel, as denoted by the embossed stamp on the front. This was one of those cards that I wasn't sure of the scarcity of, so finding it for exactly $0.85 is a win in my book.

I always liked the Upper Deck Victory sets, and while this one reminds me more of a Collector's Choice set than Victory, it's another one to cross off the list, for a total of $0.85 as well.

Running total: $8.02

This one is probably my favorite of the package.

Numbered to just 499 copies, this Gold Refractor from 2003 Topps Chrome is a suh-weet edition for just $1.24. And the one I acquired is number 50 of 499. I'm not usually a sucker for particular serial numbers, but I do like a nice round one like 50 when I find it!

Running total: $9.26

To wrap things up, here's the final three, all parallels from various 2004 sets:

2004 Topps Gold, numbered 1657/2004 (and now I only need the Black /52 to complete the Topps rainbow for 2004). $0.89.

2004 Topps Chrome Refractor, which is a poor picture but the intent was to show off the rainbow-style refractor the way it looks in hand. $0.70.

2004 Upper Deck Vintage Black and White joins the base card - and now I have the two card rainbow from that set. $0.95.

Running total: $11.80

I should add that all of the above prices include an extra $0.25 for a toploader. Throw in $6.99 shipping and a little tax, and you have a grand total of $19.92. I gotta say, I'm pretty pleased with all of that for under a Hamilton.

And now I have 41/151 Matt Mantei cards, good for 27.2% and the number one ranking on the Trading Card Database! Actually I already had the #1 ranking, but the lead has strengthened!

Think you can help add to my Mantei collection? Check out my wantlist here and let's talk! I appreciate it if you've read all my rambling tonight. Hopefully this weekend I can get another post or two up and work on some packages that I really need to get out to other collectors (Night Owl, Marc, Billy Kingsley, and probably a few more).

However, it's a very real possibility that I don't post - and if not, have a Happy Easter, and thanks for reading!